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Glass artists Matthew Curtis and Harriet Schwarzrock transform old home

Posted by on 29/06/2018

Fly away home: This bird was an Etsy find. Home sweet home: There is large painting by Queanbeyan artist Claire Primrose behind the sofa. Curtis double-glazed the windows. Photo: Rohan Thomson
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Eclectic mix: Their house is filled with art, family clutter and interesting beachside finds. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Keepsake: The couple bought this Chinese cabinet as a wedding present to themselves when they got married 15 years ago. Photo: Rohan Thomson,

Red obsession: Many of the decorative objects, such as these red glass vessels, are examples of Curtis’ artwork. Photo: Rohan Thomson,

Sunny space: Curtis added this master bedroom to the house two years ago. The hanging light is by Robert Foster of Fink Designs. The red vessels are by Curtism and the black vases are by Sophia Emmett. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Written in black and white: This blackboard inside the front door is for reminders, but usually contains times tables. Photo: Rohan Thomson

New lease of life: The front living room – formerly a bedroom – has warm red tones and a velvet couch. The large painting is by Gerald Jones. Photo: Rohan Thomson

THE HOME A three-bedroom house set back from a main road in Queanbeyan, with a large converted factory out the back.

WHO LIVES HERE Glass artists Matthew Curtis and Harriet Schwarzrock, who run a glass art studio in the backyard, and their two sons, Oscar, 14 and Hugo, 11, two large dogs, a cat and a pet snake.

WHAT WE DID We bought the property 11 years ago without seeing the whole thing, the place was far worse than anticipated – one of the back rooms looked  as though it had been a drug den.

“It was a bit of a mess, so we had to work really hard to get this place to a liveable standard,” says Curtis.

He cleared out several skips’ worth of junk, pulled down internal walls, sanded the floorboards, double-glazed and insulated the whole house, fixed the plumbing and the wiring. Since then, they have turned one bedroom into an extra living space, added a master bedroom out the back and painted many of the walls rich, bright colours. The house is furnished with reclaimed bits and pieces and eBay finds, the kitchen has Ikea cabinets and custom-made steel benchtops, and the walls are covered with artworks – both their own and works by people they know.

OUR FAVOURITE ROOM The living spaces are filled with beautiful art and family clutter, but both artists are pretty proud of the master bedroom they built onto the back of the house, complete with a built-in shelf – the yellow offsets their mutual obsession with red – and skylights.

THE HOOD Both agree it’s “a bit dodgy” but luckily they have good neighbours. “It’s convenient, it’s easy to get down into town, it’s great to catch the bus into Canberra and there are nice parks around,” Schwarzrock says, while Curtis has loved seeing how many interesting people live in the community.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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